Salvia guaranitica

Salvia guaranitica

Anise Sage
Salvia guaranitica HabitusLeavesFlowers BotGardBln0906.JPG
Binomial:Salvia guarnitica
Type:Herbaceous perennial
Light requirements:Full sun to light shade
Water requirements:Maintain adequate moisture to prevent wilting.
Soil requirements:Well-drained, deep soils
USDA Hardiness Zone:8-10, to zone 6 for some cultivars.
Pest issues:rare
Disease issues:rare
Bloom season:Midsummer to freeze
Weediness:Aggressive spreader
Pollination:Insects, attracts hummingbirds
Root:Large tubers
Toxicity and edibility:Edible

Salvia guaranitica (Anise-scented sage or Hummingbird sage) is a species of sage native to South America, including Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.


It is a perennial or subshrub growing 1-3 m tall. The leaves are ovate, 4-13 cm long, mint green, and anise-scented when crushed. The inflorescences are up to 25 cm long, with each flower 3-5 cm long in varying shades of blue, with a dark basal calyx 10-12 mm long. Flowering begins in mid summer and continues through late autumn.

Salvia guaranitica is only a perennial in USDA Zones 7 to 10, but can be perennial in cooler climates, if planted in sunny microclimate.

Growing conditionsEdit

Deep, well-drained soils with adequate irrigation during drought periods. Water needs are low. In colder climates, the plant should be sited against a building or masonry.


Numerous cultivars have been selected, including:

  • 'Argentine Skies' (pale blue flowers)
  • 'Black and Blue' (very dark violet blue calyx)
  • 'Blue Enigma' (green calyx and blue flowers
  • 'Blue Ensign' (large blue flowers)
  • 'Purple Splendor' (large purple flowers)


Salvia guaranitica is a popular ornamental plant in mild areas where the temperature does not fall below −12 °C. It is most often planted in order to attract hummingbirds.


Prune to the ground in early spring, before new stems grow. Can be sheared to encourage bushiness. Staking is sometimes necessary. Excellent container plant.


Division or stem cuttings. In colder climates, it can be dug in early autumn and kept indoors either in a pot or in vermiculite for dormant storage. It's hardiness can be greatly extended if planted against a building or masonry to maintain higher winter soil temperatures.

Pests and diseasesEdit

See Salvia for a list of pests and diseases affecting the genus Salvia.


  • Christopher Brickell and Judith D. Zuk (1997). The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. DK Publishing. pp. 929. 
  • Staff of the L. H. Bailey Hortorium (1976). Hortus Third: A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada. Cornell University Press. pp. 999. 
  • A Book of Salvias: Sages for Every Garden, Betsy Clebsch, page 90-92